Environmentalism, Spatiality and the Public Sphere

Time and place

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Oslo 27.09.2012 to 30.09.2012


Contact person

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This is the seventh research symposium organised by the Nordic Network for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies (NIES) in partnership with selected research environments at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Submissions are welcome from scholars based anywhere in the world, but are particularly encouraged from scholars in the Nordic countries.

The rise of environmental studies across different disciplines in the natural and social sciences, and more recently the humanities, is an acknowledgment that nature, as material and biological force, plays a larger and more fundamental role in human history and society than often previously acknowledged.

By addressing the dimensions of spatiality in human experience, environmental studies has the potential to go beyond the emphasis on externalities often signaled by the term “environment”, to arrive at new insights regarding how the environment helps us to reconceive or reinterpret what it means to be human.

At the same time, and despite what we might see as a deepening academic discourse in environmental studies, environmentalism both as a socio-cultural movement and as a set of policy options seems to have lost its forward momentum in the past 20-30 years. Schellenberger and Nordhaus’s provocative study “The Death of Environmentalism” (2005) calls into question both the scope and strategic merit of contemporary environmental discourse. As any problem of knowledge is also a problem of audience, there remains the question of how environmentalism might better construct, address, or include various publics, and to what extent, if at all, environmental studies in the academy can help facilitate that process.

Read more about the research symposium here!

Deadline for paper proposals: Send abstract (no more than 150-200 words) and very brief CV(one-page) to Mark Luccarelli by 1 May 2012.

Keynote Speakers:

Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

David Nye, Odense University

Edward Soja, UCLA